Being a teacher during Halloween is a whole new ball game, especially if you’re teaching in an elementary setting. If you’re needing crafts and activities to get you through these next few weeks before the big day, here’s a quick list of some, with all different age ranges, difficulties, and times.
Our personal favorite, but one that can take a lot of time and work, is a giant tape-resistant spider web art. It can be a great individual activity on a smaller scale or a few bigger, collaborative pieces for the whole class. This activity originates from Busy Toddler.
There’s always your classic bowling with pumpkins activity. The pins can be anything from plastic pins found online or two-liter recycled bottles. As long as a small pumpkin is being used to knock them over, that’s all that matters!
Investigating pumpkins is always a great activity as well. This can be as open-ended or guided as needed for your class, but opening, discovering, touching, squishing, sorting, and smelling each part of a pumpkin can be such a great hands-on activity.
A good old-fashioned vinegar and baking soda reaction with a touch of green or purple food coloring can make a great witches brew.
A great Halloween craft to talk about and learn more about anatomy is making a skeleton out of q-tips.
Simple seek n find or color pages are easy to download (legally!) and use this time of the year.
For the younger kids, washing pumpkins is a great sensory activity.
Thanksgiving is only two weeks away, so do you know what that means? Thanksgiving picture books! There is no better way to celebrate a holiday than with picture books in the classroom, I am a huge advocate for picture books at any age. Here are four books you need to keep on your radar this holiday season.
A Turkey For Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting A fun story about woodland animals that get together to eat Thanksgiving dinner together, just to realize that their friend, Turkey, is missing!
Thanksgiving in the Woods by Phyllis Alsdurf This book is based on a true story of a New York family who celebrates Thanksgiving in the woods with family. Not only is it a great book, but the pictures are also beautiful as well.
Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano A story that will have your students laughing out loud seeing Thanksgiving from the perspective of the turkey.
If You Were At The First Thanksgiving by Anne Kamma This isn’t a picture book per se. However, it is a great book to keep around the classroom for the month of November. It answers common questions and some misconceptions you or your students may have about the first Thanksgiving.
What fun books are you reading in your classrooms this Thanksgiving?
We are now well into fall and a fall book list is a must. I always say if I could live in one season forever, it would definitely be fall, hands down. I’ve often wondered if there is a place that exists where autumn lasts all year, and then I recall the life cycle of trees and how it is not possible for them to forever be in this state. But of course, Anne says it best.
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
-L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables
A few picture books that are perfect for any fall day in the classroom:
Fall Mixed Up!
I will warn you. Only read this book to your students if you’re prepared for continual laughing. This book is wacky and silly and so perfect for when you just need a change of attitude in your classroom!
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves
This cute story tells of a fox showing empathy for a tree losing its leaves. He is deeply concerned for the tree, up until he sees how beautiful it is on the first day of winter.
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves
We all love the old lady who swallowed a fly, but now she’s swallowing leaves! What is there not to love about that!? If you’re into felt storyboards, this book is perfect for one.
Room on the Broom
A fun Halloween based book about a witch that adds more and more friends to her broom. Again, another great felt storyboard book!
This literary classic is a must-read in every classroom. The setting starts in the early fall, then reaches into early winter, making it a great read-aloud book for this time of the year.
What autumn books have you read to your class this year?